The paranormal investigator revisits the biggest scares of his career from the popular franchise.
Ghost Adventures creator and ghost hunter Zak Bagans has investigated unusual paranormal activity since the show premiered in 2008, and he recently sat down with ET to look back on a few of his spookiest scares and happiest haunts to celebrate its 15th anniversary.
"Fifteen years of Ghost Adventures, it's kind of like a celebration," Bagans said of the franchise's milestone. "I love doing it. It's just a total break from the material world, which I have gotten very bored with. And I'm just very intrigued to know what happens. There's so much mystery out there. There's so much more than our eyes and our ears and that our bodies can't detect. There's so much more to this life. People see this as a TV show, but this is my life. Fifteen years. I'm having a moment right now of, 'Wow, that's a long time. That's a long time.'"
Each episode follows Bagans, who is joined by fellow ghost hunters Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley and Jay Wasley, as they investigate locations that are reportedly haunted. (Nick Groff left Ghost Adventures after appearing in the first 10 seasons.)
Among the highlights Bagans reacts to are episodes such as "Island of Dolls" from season 10 ("My forever nightmare!" he passionately recalled), "Clown Motel and Goldfield High School" from season 11, "Gettysburg" from season 4 ("You have such a big place in my heart," he reacted), "The Viper Room" from season 14, "The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum" from season 3 (which was also broadcast live), "Cecil Hotel" from season 21, "Devil's Den" from a 2022 two-hour special ("A place that scarred me forever," Bagans admitted) and "The Winchester Mystery House" from season 5, among others.
One episode in particular, "The Washoe Club: Final Chapter" from season 16, affected Bagans emotionally as he wiped away tears rewatching clips from the hour.
"I haven't seen that in a while," a teary Bagans shared.
"This was a place that meant a lot to us. It still does. We had a couple, very close friends of ours, that was on our show many different times, Mark and Debby [Constantino]. And everybody in the paranormal community knew who they were," he said. "They were on our show so many times and Washoe Club was our bond." (The Constantinos were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide in 2015 in Nevada.)
While Bagans shows no signs of slowing down, he addressed the future of Ghost Adventures -- which first debuted on Travel Channel before moving to its current home on Discovery Channel and Discovery+ -- and was open about whether he's thought about ending the show.
"When the time comes, the time comes and to be doing a show for -- we're going on 16 years now -- it's just unheard of. So if the time comes, the time comes," he said. "And I'm going to be so thankful for the opportunity that I've had to investigate with these three guys that I love. And for all the experiences that we've shared in the locations back then, we're done but we're not."
"I appreciate all of that so much. It's not easy to be on this schedule and to be doing this as much as we do and the toll that it takes on us spiritually and mentally," Bagans noted. "Sometimes we get a lot of s**t for going crazy and acting dramatic or whatever. But these are very real reactions that we have from doing this for so long. And there's no other bigger adrenaline rush. There are no other great moments than helping people, seeing tears from people and just sitting down and talking to people and learning their stories and telling them that they're not alone. That's what they're experiencing, I've experienced it too."
Bagans also credited the Ghost Adventures fans for engaging with their ghost hunts and continuing to tune in to new episodes.
"I love our fans," he said. "And yeah, we'll see how long we keep doing this before we turn into what we're hunting. When I turn into that, there's some people I'm gonna haunt the hell out of. And I ain't even laughing. Because I got a list and I'm checking it twice. And I'm finding out who's naughty or nice. I'm not Santa Claus, but I'm gonna have some fun."
The 46-year-old paranormal investigator took a moment to reflect on 15 years of Ghost Adventures, saying he "loved" going down memory lane.
"You guys got me to tear up. You got me to get very serious and intense... But it shows you the emotions that I shared with you all now from these clips," Bagans said. "These are the emotions that we go through on a nuclear level when we film these episodes and we're unique in how we do our investigations and we always have been. But thank you for giving me this opportunity. I think it's the important thing to do. I've never done this, so I hope you all enjoyed it."
He promised that there's still a long way to go for Ghost Adventures before he and the crew hang their flashlights up for good. "Continue watching us. We're not that old yet. We still got a lot of energy," Bagans quipped, joking that ghost hunting has kept him young. "We're gonna stay looking young, but I think investigating ghosts, it does help us a little bit. Would that be weird? If that's the fountain of youth? Cracked the code."
Ghost Adventures returns with a new episode Wednesday, Aug. 2 on Discovery Channel and Discovery+.
This interview was completed prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike, which began on July 13, 2023.